Directed by the Tony Award winning and six time MET director, Bartlett Sher, this lavish production of Verdi's operatic masterpiece Otello features one of the most exciting young opera singers of her generation, Sonya Yoncheva, and the Metropolitan Opera & Chorus, conducted by their new director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
“A strong and pleasing voice, in both high and low notes – a combination which one rarely encounters,” ran one contemporary report of Catarina Cavalieri, the soprano who created Konstanze in Die Entführung. Though I’d put it rather less laconically, that verdict holds equally good for Diana Damrau, whose new Mozart recital includes two arias composed for Cavalieri, “Martern aller Arten” and Elvira’s “Mi tradì” (added for the 1788 Viennese revival of Don Giovanni). The glamorous German soprano, now in her mid-thirties, made her international reputation as a sensational Queen of the Night and Zerbinetta.
For better or worse, Andrew Lloyd Webber's adaptation of Gaston Leroux's gothic horror/romance novel has done for stage musicals what Spielberg's Jaws did for fish stories, with worldwide sales of its original cast album approaching 25 million. While director Joel Schumacher's film turns on his typically ambitious visual verve, its new film soundtrack recording has been paradoxically focused in scope, yet beefed up dynamically via the brawny presence of a hundred piece orchestra and The London Boys Choir. This double-disc version showcases all of Phantom's songs, with Gerard Butler imparting a welcome, youthful sensuality to his Phantom, making a fine foil for Emily Rossum's ever-conflicted Christine. Original show orchestrator David Cullen has fashioned compelling new contemporary arrangements to frame Webber's songs–which now conclude with the lilting, upbeat new ballad he wrote for the film, "Learn to Be Lonely," sung by Minnie Driver's Carlotta.